Dylan Marlais Thomas

Dylan Marlais Thomas is considered one of the greatest modern poets.

Like many other writers and poets, Thomas lived a life of loss, poverty,
and adventure. His life began October 27, 1914 in Swansea, Wales. His
father David John Thomas was an English Literature teacher at the Swansea
Grammar School and at Dylan’s birth he was determined for his son to become
the poet that he had failed to be(Fitzgibbon 25). Despite having very
little education, Thomas began writing poems at the very young age of
nine. At age sixteen Thomas left school and began working at the South
Wales Daily Post, sometimes writing scornful reviews of local plays,
concerts, and writers; which were often edited to keep from offending the
subjects he scrutinized.In 1937, after going on many drinking binges
and living together for over a year, Thomas married Caitlin MacNamara,
with whom he later had three children. In April of 1937, Thomas began to
read poetry for BBC Wales. Radio broadcasting became a big role in his
career development. Thomas is credited for many publications, including
his most famous, ” Do Not Go Gentle into That Goodnight” and “
Under Milk Wood”. Tragically, during his fourth visit to the United
States, Dylan Thomas fell into a coma, due to an overdose of Tequila and
Morphine shots. On November 9, 1953, he died at St.Vincent’s Hospital
while a nurse was bathing him; he was thirty-nine(Neurotic Poets 6).

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Thomas has been described as, ” humble, shy, confused, and insecure on
the inside, but outwardly neglectful, selfish, and egotistical-yet
always, and extremely, charming”( Neurotic Poets ).

Though Thomas led an interesting life; even more interesting is his style
of writing.Even though Thomas’ works are puzzles to most people, Thomas
believed ” what the words stood for, symbolised, or meant was of very
secondary importance-what mattered was the very sound of them”( Neurotic
Poets 1). Thomas believed that the best poetry was music to the ears.

Thomas used life experiences and Biblical passages to create the musical
sounds in his poetry.

One of Thomas’ most famous poems is ” Do Not Go Gentle into That Good
Night”.Thomas had a very close relationship with his father David John
Thomas. On December 16, 1952, his ailing father died while holding his
hand( Neurotic Poets 5). This poem is very much about the struggle between
Thomas’ father and death. The poem reads:
Do not go gentle into that good
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the

Though wise men at their end know
dark is right,
Because their words had forked no
lightening they
Do not go gentle into that good

Good men, the last wave by, crying
how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced
in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the

Wild men who caught and sang the sun
in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it
on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good

Grave men, near death, who see with
blinding sight,
Blind eyes blaze like meteors and be
Rage, rage against the dying of the

And you, my father, there on that sad
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce
tears, I pray.

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Rage, rage against the dying of the
Thomas’ father had been a militant man most of his life, and when became
blind and weak from illness,his son was disturbed seeing his father
become “soft” or” gentle.” In the poem, Thomas is moving his father to go
back to being the fierce man he had previously been ( Grimes 1). The ” sad
height” is a time when life is ending and death can be seen as inevitable.

Thomas rages his father to rage against the old and dying life; at the same
time the “sad height” is the only moment the only moment that he can ask
his father to bless him(Westphal1). Thomas also used an abundance of
biblical language in his poetry.

We can also look at ” Do Not GoGentle into That Good Night” for
Thomas’ use of biblical language. Thomas often tuned to the Bible for
imagery and illusion in his poetry. For instance, “the sad height” is much
like Mount Nebo where Moses died because he could not enter the promised
land. The origin of lines 16 and 17 is clearly the book of Deuteronomy.

For example the relationship between Moses and his


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